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Author Topic: Is your reality fantasy?  (Read 1793 times)

Offline RobertS

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Is your reality fantasy?
« on: November 13, 2017, 05:01:32 PM »
If you set your story in the world you really believe exists, how many people would consider your work fantasy? If you explored the edge of your own belief system and presented the raw edges of what you believe, what are the chances that someone might take it as urban fantasy?

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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 07:48:41 PM »
My world is 95% reality with some exceptional creatures and magic - but my magic is not that fantastic compared to some feats our technology can actually do. It could easily be urban fantasy, as that includes those elements all the time, but I've chosen to use a world with poorly understood/developed science.
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Offline Dark Squiggle

Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:50:36 PM »
I'm not sure. My idea of reality, especially at its 'edges' is so blurred, and changes so often, I could hardly say what someone else would think of. I believe in so many different (sometimes contradictory) things on so many different levels that if I were somehow to look at my concept of reality and put it to paper, most people would just call it really bad worldbuilding.
I believe in prejudices I have picked from others, including ones I have gotten from books. I believe in magic and demons - but at the same time I believe I will never meet these in my lifetime. I believe people will behave in ways that I know they don't, as they surprise me all the time without really surprising me, but the belief lingers. I also don't fully believe in things like electron spin and suchlike, as I struggle to understand them, but I don't disbelieve in them either. Because of this, I have an easier time believing many fantasy worlds than I do believing in the one I live in. A fantasy world is a thing that can be looked at objectively, a picture in someone's mind is not. (Discworld may violate this, as the its rules are constantly changing, but even there, at a given point in the series, the rule are fixed.) I guess the only thing I can say is that there are many levels of belief, and while you believe the light will go on when you turn the switch, and get upset when it doesn't work that way, if your mind is a little fuzzy one day, you might be just as upset when the werelight you attempt to summon fails to appear. You can't really take a picture of someone's beliefs and present them on paper, as there are many layers of them, and they all exist independently and of each other and are constantly changing.

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 01:44:49 AM »
I'm slightly confused by your question Robert, are you asking if we were to create a setting we truly believed in, or matched those of our beliefs. Would it look like fantasy to another reader, like a work of fiction or a product of our imagination?
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline RobertS

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Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 04:29:08 AM »
I'm slightly confused by your question Robert, are you asking if we were to create a setting we truly believed in, or matched those of our beliefs. Would it look like fantasy to another reader, like a work of fiction or a product of our imagination?
Mostly.
I would rather look stupid today than be stupid tomorrow.

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 08:12:06 AM »
Mostly.

Ah right I see. Uh, my 'perfect' world wouldn't really look that much different to how Earth is now, really the only major differences would be stuff like everyone is a good and moral human being, and there's an actual functional working governmental system in place, stuff like that. I really could play around with the definitions though, and say that a 'perfect' wold already exists, but that would go into some really funky territory.
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 10:28:09 AM »
Many of the politicians (2017) seem to be living in an alternate reality? The news every morning gets more surreal. No, not thinking so much of Trump, but the UK government. Trump is just one selfish rich white guy, not representative of the majority but explicable.

Most of my stories try to be rooted in the real world to aid "suspension of disbelief". The only thing that comes to mind in the OP, is L.Ron Hubbard. I'd be very suspicious of writers writing fiction that they actually believe.

There is no clear boundary between SF, Fantasy and "ordinary" fiction. Sometimes the real world has unlikely things that SEEM magical or supernatural. Good fiction might enhance this. Read Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Fantasy might have no magic, strange species or supernatural, see some Joan Aiken and Mary Stewart. SF might not be set in the future or in space. See some John Wyndham stories (some are fantasy or even horror).

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Offline Nora

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Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 08:13:33 AM »
I'm slightly confused by your question Robert, are you asking if we were to create a setting we truly believed in, or matched those of our beliefs. Would it look like fantasy to another reader, like a work of fiction or a product of our imagination?
Mostly.

Isn't that a self defeating question?! I mean, if people believe in an aspect of reality, they're not gonna tell you that their reality sounds like a fantasy. I've known people who believed in aliens and lizard people ruling us. To me these people lived in a fantasy setting, but to them, I was just blind.
I believe I see the world as it is, at least through the lens of the information I receive, which is not always correct I'm sure.
I'm not even religious. Mostly a follower of science.
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Offline RobertS

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Re: Is your reality fantasy?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 03:18:27 AM »
Of course you don't have to believe in Lizard People and aliens ruling us since they believe in you. :)

I personally try to separate what I know, what I think is likely, what I believe and what I want to be true.

For example, I am charmed by the thought of the next card being flipped over being random. I do not for a moment actually believe that it is actually undetermined until I flip it. This may seem a simple and straight forward thought, but if you really know your physics, this statement has several controversial implications.

If we leave religions out but include the metaphysics espoused by the religions, we get a very wide range of possible rules. Just taking the number of souls you have in Christianity you can get numbers ranging from zero to three in major and ancient branches of the Faith.
The odds of a specific set of metaphysics being right is rather low considering the range of possible beliefs and since atheism is the least provable set of beliefs, there is a lot of room still for enough deviation.

I have been researching and trying to find the innate beliefs that humans hold. Not religion but the things they instinctively go back to and reach for as beliefs.  If you just pick the specific metaphysical elements that are believed by the majority of the world, you will get a system that is pretty ripe for writing fantasy.
I would rather look stupid today than be stupid tomorrow.